Uniti2 + Focal 906 - what next?

Obviously asking for recommendations is a bit daft because you don’t know what I like, but we’re all stuck at home, right?

So, I have a Uniti2 + Focal 906 setup a bought a few years ago, which was a step up for me. I’m still wedded to CDs rather than streaming, and so I’m fairly happy with the Uniti2 - the display looks a bit old school now, and there’s some skipping occasionally, but it seems ok.

If I wanted to upgrade to something which was another step up from this, what would people suggest I do? New speakers? Something to replace the Uniti 2?

In case it’s relevant, I’m 51 (so the high frequencies are sadly starting to go), listen to mostly rock or folk, quite loud as I have no neighbours, room is around 10m by 15m with the speakers on the 10m side.

I’ve only ever used smallish speakers on stands, never those ones which are full height, and never used a subwoofer.

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If you are happy with the speakers a Star might be better. The functionality will be improved and I expect the amplification also.

My views is (I have a UnitiQute) that Naim hardware last one helluva long time , their vulnerability is software and reliance on computer parts which are bought in.

The thing is, I don’t know if I’m happy with the speakers, because I’ve probably never been exposed to anything better. Ditto the Uniti2.

So I’m wondering if anyone would say something like “The Uniti2 can drive better speakers than that, think about X” or “Those speakers would benefit from an upgrade to the source, think about Y”.

Or whether they are pretty well matched, in which case it would be “something similar but better would be A + B which you can’t afford”.

As you have a one box system, it should be fairly easy to take it in to a dealer and try it with a variety of speakers. Focal aren’t universally liked on this forum, ditto B&W

Speakers have the most impact on a system, start with something in the £1,000 range and move up. Acoustic Energy 500 would be a good point, Neat and Pro-Ac have oodles of fans on this forum , possibly because they are voiced with Naim in mind.

If it was me, I would also look at PMC , especially the DB1 (I have a liking for studio speakers)

Good point about taking it in to a dealer. Not so much an option just now, of course. My nearest city is Preston (yes, I accept your sympathy) so I’m not very well positioned for good dealers so far as I know.

I live on the Fylde, and now that Audio-T have closed we are certainly challenged locally for good dealers. Although, out of the ashes, a new Naim dealer called Vinyl Groove Audio have just opened up in-between Freckleton and Preston. I’ve not visited them as yet, but the owner used to run The Vinyl Groove Cafe in Lytham St Annes (great food!). DNA Audio are only an hour away in Otley, and they have a decent range of Naim & Co kit and are good guys. There’s also Doug Brady in Warrington, Acoustica and Adventures in Hi-Fi in Chester, which all have a good reputation, so there are places roughly an hour away if you weren’t aware of them.

I’ve heard the Focal speakers you own and like them. I think this range were developed after focal acquired Naim and seem a more sympathetic match to Naim amps. Every time I’ve heard the 106 with something like an Atom or a Nova, they have sounded very good. Focal are a bit ‘marmite’ here. I’ve heard Naim & Focal sounding sublime (Kanta & Aria) and also terrible (Utopia) - akin to shaking a bucket of broken glass in time with a one note bass drum. As with all systems, it could have been so many contributory factors - room acoustics, set up, system mis-match etc, so would never sweepingly condemn them.

Your speakers are an easy load for the amplifier, so unless you want to change the sound ‘flavour’, then I’d start by looking at the front end and consider what you want to achieve. As Ian suggested, perhaps the UnitiStar for an improved streaming option for future proofing, and to work alongside its CD player? Alternatively, a better Naim CD player on the used market? Forum bods with greater experience of Naim CDPs will I’m sure chip in their thoughts on that option. Is it worth considering ripping your CDs to a computer or a NAS to act as a server, and then buy one of the new Naim streamers to stream these files, and also future proof as well? Lots to consider, and as ever, a good dealer will help focus the mind as to the choices available.

Good luck and look forward to reading about what you decide to do!

Pretty large room you have, you may get a bigger sound with floor standing speakers but as with all speaker advice - engage a good dealer, narrow it down to a few within budget and listen to at dealers, narrow down further for a home demo!

Personally I can never imagine going back to CD’s so prob worth revisiting streaming and just making sure it’s still not for you. Tidal is working well for me and at 50 my eyes can no longer see text on CD cases!

The super Uniti was a step up for me from a unit 1 and I also found a powerline was worth while but you may like the newer tech of the star.

It’s still a lot of money so maybe wait until dealers are open and if you have an itch to scratch now try a powerline.


I started streaming with a Uniti2 and some MA GX300 Gold speakers.

From subsequent modest upgrades it was clear to me that the Uniti2, although a decent entry to streaming, was holding everything back.

This was of course before the days of the new Uniti range and I had no option but to go down the Naim separates route for upgrading. I have however heard the Nova on a few occasions and am convinced the new Uniti range would significantly better the Uniti2.

I still have my original speakers which have clearly shown the SQ benefits of many source and amp upgrades over the years. My gut feel therefore is that you should be exploring upgrading your streamer before your speakers.

Maybe you could borrow a Nova and try it at home with your current speakers. I have heard the Nova at the Bristol show with Kudos Titan 505 speakers and was amazed at the superb sound, even in a crappy hotel room. Clearly the 505s are a lot of speaker but I have heard the Nova sound great with lesser speakers too.

You could give it a try with ProAc Response . A very good match.

Or keep the old set-up and add a power amp, like NAP 200.

i just jumped from a RME adi - 2 fs > Cayin HA 1A to the naim nova and the over all sound it just much more. Not saying my old setup was bad but the nova just has more magic and transparency to it as well as a big ol deep soundstage. Head phones are LCD 4’s

You haven’t mentioned budget so I will keep my suggestions as reasonable as possible. The main thing that strikes me is your room size, 15Mx10M is a big room. I would consider a graded/refurbished Nova and a set of floor standers, maybe something from Fyne Audio or if you like the Focal sound they have a new range of speakers, Chora, which may be better in. your room and are a reasonable cost.

Thank you all for taking the time to reply.

YetiZone, those are some particularly useful local recommendations. I’d noticed the one near Freckleton, but not visited.

I don’t really know what you mean by “an easy load”, but the suggestion from you and NigelB seems to be to upgrade the source. I’m definitely up for secondhand kit.

I’m intrigued as to what the difference would be with floor standing speakers, though, since I’ve never had any. I’m quite ignorant about that - I don’t know if they’re basically just an empty case to look impressive, or full of musical goodness.

There are many different types of loudspeaker design, so it’s hard to generalise…but floorstanders have a larger volume cabinet that provides deeper bass extension.

An easy load usually means that the speakers are easy to drive - I’ll give an example a recent (and lovely ) valve Luxman system appeared on these pages.

Very low output , so the speakers were high efficiency , so even though the amp’s output is small it still produces sound at a realistic volume.

Some stand mount speakers may be small physically but they can be difficult to get the best from. Found out this myself - by buying some quality /small stand mounts and then finding they needed a degree of power.

The PMCs I mentioned are reasonably efficient so should be a good match .

I must admit that I didn’t pick up on the size of room , I would suggest floor standers

More than welcome with the dealer pointers. A great shame Audio-T Preston closed as they were always very good. Yes, Vinyl Groove Audio do look like they have created a nice environment to audition and demo equipment but it is early days for them as they only set up recently (early Autumn I think).

As Ian mentioned, as your speakers are very efficient the Uniti amplifier doesn’t have to work that hard to create high sound pressure levels. With inefficient speakers, a lower power amp may not grip and control the drivers, the amp could end up ‘clipping’ and the sound distorting.

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Thanks for the explanation. So is the point you’re making that one thing to watch out for is having an amp that isn’t powerful enough to drive the speakers, but in this case that’s not an issue?

So unless I upgrade the Uniti2 for a lower powered system (which sounds like a weird thing to do), then whatever I upgraded to would still work ok with these speakers.

But if I upgraded the speakers, maybe the Uniti2 wouldn’t be powerful enough to drive them?

Thanks for the explanation. So is the point you’re making that one thing to watch out for is having an amp that isn’t powerful enough to drive the speakers, but in this case that’s not an issue?

Yes. But only if you want to change your speakers. The Uniti amp will be good enough to drive your Focals (easily, with headroom), and so allow you to upgrade source components if so desired.

So unless I upgrade the Uniti2 for a lower powered system (which sounds like a weird thing to do), then whatever I upgraded to would still work ok with these speakers.

Yes, very much so, as the Aria 906 are an easy load for the amplifier and are a good entry / mid level model, and will show improvements upstream.

But if I upgraded the speakers, maybe the Uniti2 wouldn’t be powerful enough to drive them?

Possibly, depends on the speaker efficiency, but the amp in the Unity is very capable. The size of your room could be an issue though, and this is where a home speaker demo would be helpful; unless buying secondhand where you have experience of the next speakers and have a very good idea if they will work with your equipment and in your room.

A 10m by 15m room sounds absolutely massive and I’m surprised the system doesn’t sound a bit lost. I suppose it depends what you want and what your expectations are. If you like the Focal sound I could imagine a Nova and some Aria floorstanders would be a nice improvement.

If you are “wedded to CDs”, then the Uniti Star / Nova option probably won’t work - as these don’t come with a CD player.

Depending on your budge, i’d consider adding a bigger amp (eg. a Supernait 2 or 3, and using the Uniti as a CD player) and swap the Aria for some easy to drive floor-standers that others have recommended.

When I had my Uniti 2 I thought it was rather poor as a CD player. It was much better streaming.

If you only use the Uniti 2 to play CDs and are not prepared to rip them and use a server or NAS, then the new Unitis will be no good to you.

I think you need to evaluate if you are prepared to embrace streaming or want to just stick to CDs.

I may of course misunderstood your situation.